Friday, February 20, 2009

Checking the Crops

Shortly after the storm has passed and the television or radio has verified that the entire weather system has truly moved on, posing no additional danger, the crops must be checked for damage. There could have been too much rain that washed them out, standing flood water to drown them, hail to crush and shred the leaves and stems, high wind to snap them from their roots, tornadoes or twisters to bend and torture them. A call might go out to neighbors to assess the extent of known damages or to determine the directions where damage was most likely. Windows were rolled down to get a better look and sometimes, we had to stop and get out to walk to the edge of the field to make absolutely sure all was well. The feeling of relief in the car built with each verification that a crop had survived intact and the silence when damage was found was crushing. A kind of celebration sometimes occurred at the end of the journey if all was found to be well and good. We would head off west, in a direction where we had no fields of our own, to see the place where the water ran in the ditch in such as way as to appear to be running uphill. It was our own little 'mystery spot' where the angle of the road and the angle of the ditch allowed a tricking of the eye. Our dad would pause the car a bit so that we could revel in the relief that the crops had defied the storm just as the flowing water defied rules of gravity.

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